28 Ways to Create Great Segues: Segue #7
By Jon Nicol
The gist of this segue is finding a "path" of chords that lead to the new key. Here's an example:
Key of C to Key of Db (1/2 step up)
Moving back to F chord created a smoother transition to the Bb chord (because they share two common keys), which allowed a smooth transition to the Eb (here again, they share two keys), which created a similar bridge to the final chord of the transition, which is the V7sus (Absus) of the new key: Db.
That example used chords that were a fourth and a fifth apart and shared keys. Now here's an example of a more linear path to the same place.
C to Db (1/2 step up)
This transition still used chords that were a 3rd or 6th and 4th or 5th apart, but the use of inversions (a non-root chord tone in the bass of the chord - known also as "slash" chords) gave the feel of step motion.
Now, you'll probably only want to use an elaborate key change like these in certain parts of your service. This kind of transition is perfect for underscoring a prayer: the team ends one song in C and the next is in Db. The pastor decides to pray at that point and the pianist (or the guitarist, if he's brave and has a capo) can meander over these chords during the prayer. If the transition is played slowly, lingering on each chord, the congregation won't even know they've been taken to a new key.
There are countless ways to do this "Chord Trail" transition. Here are just a few more examples:
C to D (whole step up)
This one is much shorter. It utilized a flat 7 chord (bVII) (in this case, Bb) to bridge to the Asus, the V of D. The flat 7 (bVII) chord really grabs the ear and takes us immediately out of the key. Check out how you can utilized the flat 7 in this arrangement of Holy, Holy, Holy.
You can also minor chords along with inversions to help move you to the next key:
C to D (whole step up)
Again, there are a bazillion ways to move from any key to any other key. Just play around with chord trails when you're working on your song to song transitions. But a word of warning - I like chord trail transitions, but I've learned simpler is usually better. I came up with some really sweet progressions to the new key. That is, they were absolutely wonderful in my office, alone, door closed, planets aligned just right. On stage, on Sunday, in front of people...well, not so much.
November 9, 2009Tweet
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